Imagine you awoke one morning and didn’t know who you were. You felt healthy, and all the material trappings of your life surround you—except memories. Your task becomes to construct a life using the evidence that you can find. Such is the work of the actor. Juxtaposing the 1919 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari against a new text created from the words of eight of history’s leading acting theorists, DR.C (OR HOW I LEARNED TO ACT IN EIGHT STEPS) investigates the history of acting through athletically precise movement, live music, innovative projections and songs. It is an unintentional homage to the people and ideas that, for better or for worse, have irrevocably shaped the way we view the art of acting.
DR.C evolved from Artistic Director Rubén Polendo’s realization that the three most common excuses for ‘bad acting’ (“I wasn’t grounded”, “I wasn’t feeling it”, and “it didn’t seem truthful”) are tied to the assumption that an actor’s experience of performing is the same as what the audience experiences. Polendo decided to do an experiment: what if you removed any possibility of experiencing those three supposed necessities? Using the film classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, one of the few remaining examples of what acting was before Stanislavski began to shape American acting, the company began exploring a correlation between distinct sections of Caligari and eight major theorist/artists whose ideas have influenced what acting ‘is’ or ‘should be’. By exactingly recreating the physical movement of Caligari and supporting it with a new text created from the words of Aristotle, Adolphe Appia, Stanislavski, Brecht, Artaud, Grotowski, Peter Brook and Anne Bogart, a new and autonomous narrative was birthed that asks “What is acting?”
DR.C (OR HOW I LEARNED TO ACT IN EIGHT STEPS) stars Aysan Çelik, Justin Nestor, Matt Carlson, Emily Davis, Adam Cochran, Nathan Elam, Laura Stinger, and Marc LeVasseur. The production features sets by Amy Rubin, lighting by Kate Ashton, costumes by Candida K. Nichols, video by Jake Witlen, sound by Alex Hawthorn, original music by Ellen Reid, text compiled by Rubén Polendo and Jocelyn Clarke, production management by Leighton Mitchell, and stage management by Hilary Austin. The production was developed at Sundance, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and New York Theatre Workshop (where Mitu is Company-in-Residence).
About the Company: Theater Mitu
Since its inception in 1997, Theater Mitu has presented works at theaters nationally and internationally, including New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, INTAR, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, A.C.T., McCarter, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep and Patravadi Theater (Bangkok). Past productions include Four Saints in Mexico (inspired by G. Stein) Above All... (inspired by Chekhov). Hamletmachine (inspired by H. Muller), The Apostle Project, The Shakespeare Project (adaptation of Macbeth and King Lear), The Noh Cycle, The Tutor (based on texts by Brecht and Büchner) and an acclaimed re-envisioning of Death of A Salesman. For more information visit www.theatermitu.org
Theater: 3LD Art & Technology Ctr.
Address: 80 Greenwich Street
New York, NY
Buy Tickets Online or Call: www.3LDNYC.org at 212-352-3101